Bill allowing employees of Tennessee public universities to be armed becomes law

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee guns-on-campus bill has become law.

Gov. Bill Haslam allowed it to become law without his signature, the Tennessean reported.

Senate Bill 2376 allows full-time faculty, staff and other employees at public colleges and universities in Tennessee to carry their guns on campus if they have a handgun-carry permit. Employees choosing to do so must let the local law enforcement, usually the campus police, know.

Haslam said he would rather let individual institutions make their own decisions on the matter, but he said the bill took into consideration concerns from higher education officials.

Haslam issued the following statement, per the Tennessean:

“I am letting SB 2376 become law without my signature. I have long stated a preference for systems and institutions to be able to make their own decisions regarding security issues on campus, and I again expressed this concern throughout the legislative process this year.

“Although SB 2376 does not go as far as I would like in retaining campus control, the final version of the bill included input from higher education and was shaped to accommodate some of their concerns.

“Ultimately, this legislation was tailored to apply to certain employees in specific situations, it provides protection from liability for the institutions, and it requires notification of law enforcement before carrying on campus. I hope that as a state we will monitor the impact of this new law and listen to the feedback of higher education leaders responsible for operationalizing it.”

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